Defence minister's wife makes paintings worth Rs 28 crore

A K Antony Wife
Bangalore, June 19: Wife of defence minister A K Antony, Elizabeth Antony, has recently hogged the limelight after the Airport Authority of India (AAI) purchased eight paintings made by her for an undisclosed sum for displaying them at select airports. Two of her creations have already found place at the new international terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram airport and it is learnt that the AAI paid Rs 28 crore for the twin artworks. This puts Elizabeth in the elite league of the late Tyeb Mehta, the painter whose work 'Celebration' had fetched Rs 1.5 crore in an auction at Christie's in the year 2002.

Refusing to disclose details of the buyers of her paintings and the price they fetched, Elizabeth said the amounts obtained from the sale of her paintings are used for helpless cancer patients' welfare and her NGO Navoothan Charitable Fund plays a lead role in it. The wife of the defence minister, however, admitted that the AAI had picked few of her paintings. On her Facebook account Elizabeth has posted a couple of photographs of her donating Rs 3.5 lakh to the Cancer Society. She said the money obtained by selling her photographs was the only source for the noble cause since there was no foreign aid or government support.

Elizabeth, a retired bank employee, made a very philanthropic confession here. She said several cancer patients used to approach her husband, the defence minister, to help in their treatment but it was not always feasible for him to support everybody. It was then when she too decided to do something for the hapless patients. She is also working towards holding exhibition of her paintings at the India Habitat Centre in new Delhi in November besides at other places. "Prices of the paintings are fixed after expert consultation," she said.

Elizabeth Antony, however, has no formal training in painting. "It is my hobby and I had won several prices during my school days," she said. That Elizabeth, who enrolled as an advocate in Kerala High Court last year, is committed to philanthropy could also be seen from her free service to poor legal clients in Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram.

The issue was however, clarified by Elizabeth Antony. [Read here more for details: Elizabeth Antony refutes rumours; FB abuzz with hearsays]

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